Asha Shivakumar : The wonder woman behind this most amazing website www.foodfashionparty.com
A mom of two, Recipe Developer, Editor at the FeedFeed Community, excellent Food Photographer with over 50k followers on Instagram & over 30k followers in Facebook. The culinary queen Nigella Lawson herself recommended Asha’s feed in instagram and the list goes on…
She is an inspiration to me for various reasons not just because she is popular. Have been following her in social media for over a year now and from what I have observed so far is Asha’s personality is very very genuine. I can relate a lot to her posts & her stories. Her passion for food is infectious. With her interesting twists & fusion recipes, she is taking our Indian cuisine to a next level. A very warm friendly person who encourages talented people in every possible way. Asha’s Snap Stories gives us a glimpse of how she shuttles between her day to day kitchen routine, working for clients, her fitness and in the meantime taking care of family, spending quality time with them as well. There is so much to learn from her and am so glad, irrespective of being on vacation Asha took her time to answer my questions.
Here is the full Q & A with Asha :
1. I know you are from South India. You can speak & understand Tamizh 😉 What’s your native place?
My native place is Bangalore
2. Were you a foodie since childhood? How and when did you start cooking/experimenting in kitchen?
I definitely loved food as a kid and still do. The funny thing is, I did not cook or experiment until I got married. I would see my mom and grandma cook, and that has been embedded in my mind. So I would say what I saw visually really stayed strong with me.
3. Growing up we all have fond memories attached to our grandparents, we used to enjoy their special attention towards us. What is your favorite dish prepared by your grandma?
4. How did ‘Food Fashion Party’ happened? Its such an interesting name to a blog. Any specific reason behind this?
That is a question I always get. We eat with our eyes, and I was always quite fond of presenting food fashionably. You really need not have fancy serving platters or anything, but it’s just about the simple ways of styling. Also, I definitely love to entertain. Creating menus for parties is something I absolutely love. Taking the traditional and making it my own. That is essentially what my blog is about
5. From the day one I started following you on instagram until now (i guess close to 12-14 months) you have never repeated the same dish multiple times. Even if you repeat ,there will be some improvisation or fusion of flavors (like Naan pizza). How do you plan your daily meal?
6. I am amazed by the knowledge you have on various cooking techniques. From baking a cake/bread/macaron to making our humble Rasam all exotic , how do you keep learning & testing various flavors & combos?
That’s definitely an interesting question. I do cook a lot. Most of the time, we don’t put out pictures of failed recipe. I have failed many times before getting it right. I read a lot. I talk to people of different cultures about their foods and their spices, and I’m constantly learning. There is just so much variety in food, and one can never know everything. There is always more to learn, no matter how much you know.
7. I need a separate interview session to ask about my Photography based queries to you 😉 But for now tell us amateurs three important things to keep in mind while taking a food picture ? It could be anything whichever in your opinion you consider really important.
I’m more than happy to share what I know about photography. Photography is something I love, but again, there’s so much I haven’t learnt yet. I’ll share my tips and tricks. Right now, I’m in India, and I don’t have the same props that I have back home. I’m trying to work with what I have over here, so a big camera won’t work either. A simple iPhone and a couple of plates will do the trick, in addition to absolutely good white lighting.
- One important thing is not to clutter your pictures.
- Secondly, you can buy these vinyl backgrounds for less than $10, and they make great backdrops.
- Thirdly, when photographing food, try to vary the colors and textures.
- Fourthly, take tons of pictures. Don’t rush, and stay calm. In the beginning, one might work out of 30, but later, you’ll figure out the lighting and the positioning, so take tons of pictures.
- Fifthly, use white cardboards and black cardboards to bounce off light and to block light. In general, just experiment with your styling and positioning. This is your artistic medium, and you should never just stick to one style.
8. From your Snap stories I understand that your boys love cooking too. Did you train them to cook basic stuff or they were into it naturally?
I would say both. I definitely pulled them into the kitchen, and gradually they just started loving it. My boys can cook a lovely meal for a few. I’m so blessed for that.
9. Who is the best critic in your family and share something about the people who have inspired you to cook
For now I’d say the little one is the biggest critique of the family. He just thinks that he is a Chopped judge and he will say things like “Oh this would be better with some more acidity,” or “Oh this needs more garlic.” Funnily, he’s correct most of the time. To be honest, there are so many people who have inspired me. When I see your Insta feed, I see things that inspire me to cook something like that. I follow a lot of big chefs that inspire me, like Ina Garten. I just find inspiration everywhere.
10. You have thousands of followers in instagram & in your facebook page. As far as I know you have politely responded to most of their queries/compliments 🙂 How do you manage your time for all these different activities? (Updating blog,cooking for family,household chores,developing recipes for clients etc..)
11. Few thoughts about your journey in the “FeedFeed” community
The FeedFeed community has really helped in quite a lot of ways. I’ve gotten exposure to all these different cuisines. It’s wonderful to work with some of the chefs in the community. The founders are amazing as well
12. Last but not least please share your fitness secrets..Hehe you are definitely one of those ‘Santoor Ad Moms’..
Thank you so much Asha for sharing your thoughts about food, tips and tricks about food photography. Keep inspiring us like you always do and looking forward to many more interesting posts and recipes from FoodFashionParty.
You can follow Asha in any of the social media platforms (check the links below)
Her Blog :
Instagram : www.instagram.com/foodfashionparty